Investing with impact in Central and East Africa

We invest in geographies that most need it: underdeveloped markets in sub-Saharan Africa notably DR Congo, Uganda and Republic of Congo.  Countries with high levels of unemployment, low income per capita and nascent economic development where access to goods and services is limited.  In these markets, any job created, sustains a family.  And, with limited access to healthcare, education, consumer goods & services, investing in the right entrepreneurs, creates access to better schooling, improved healthcare and other products and services at affordable prices.  With this we cover at least five of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Click here for a few examples in different sectors.

Many opportunities in these markets remain unexploited due to the lack of risk capital and support.  By providing both we stimulate entrepreneurship.  To date, we invested over USD 59 mln in over 50 companies and helped with advice, training and skill building in specific areas to over 35 companies, through separate technical assistance. Together with our entrepreneurs we have created over 500 jobs since 2011, of which 60% for young people and 32% for women, adding more than 4,000 additional pupils spread over three private schools, adding over 40 hospital beds and much needed medical equipment and facilities in three hospitals. 25% of the investee companies In CASF were led by women entrepreneurs.

This video tells the story of Monishop, one of the partners of XSML Capital.

Since our first investments in 2011, we apply tested methods to improve standards and measure results.  For improvements in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) we apply and implement the IFC Performance Standards.

together with methods and benchmarks developed by our other investors, for example CDC’s toolkit. For impact we annually survey our portfolio companies using the GIIN standards.

Over time, several external consultancies have reviewed our processes and the impact of our investments.

Each USD 35K invested creates one sustainable job

An example is a recent study by Steward Redqueen on our CASF portfolio in DRC – the following infographic gives some insight in key findings  for example, revenues of our portfolio companies grew by 20%, we increased the number of jobs by 45% and our portfolio companies pay on average almost three times more than the average salary in the formal sector in DRC.  With each USD 35K invested, one job is created.

 

Image by Steward Redqueen. Click to enlarge.

Infographic 2019 CASF - image: steward redqueen